Surrey County Council welcomes petitions and e-petitions from all people who are resident, working or studying in the county, recognising that petitions are one way in which you can let us know about council matters that are important to you.
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Petitions submitted to the council inform debate and can have positive outcomes that lead to change. For example, they can:
Petitions offer you the opportunity of bringing issues to the council's attention, so that we can consider your requests and, where appropriate and possible, bring about change for the better for the people of Surrey.
An e-petition is a form of petition posted on a website. Individuals or groups can create a petition on the site and visitors can add their details to the petition to "sign" it. The format makes it easy to collect signatures, and it also makes it easier for us to respond directly using email.
There is no theoretical difference, only the way in which the signatures are collected and delivered. A petition can gather names and addresses in either or both forms, though once someone has signed a petition in one format, they cannot sign it in another. Some people may consider e-petitions more convenient as they can then gather 'signatures' via email rather than having to gain signatures in person and the e-petition is submitted online instead of being posted. e-petitions have the added benefit of being published online for a wider audience to view.
If you are unable to create a petition online or prefer to collect signatures in person, you can find details about submitting your petition by post.
All petitions sent to Surrey County Council will receive an acknowledgement from the council within 10 working days of receipt. If you have submitted an e-petition you will receive an acknowledgement by email, otherwise it will be by post. This acknowledgement will set out what we plan to do with the petition. Please be aware that submitting a petition does not automatically guarantee that the subject of the petition will be acted upon.
It may take up to five working days before it is published online. This is because we have to check that the content of your petition is suitable before it is made available for signature.
No, it is not possible to edit an e-petition after it has been published online. Please make sure you have checked your petition thoroughly and that you are happy with the wording before you submit it.
Petitions with 100 or more signatures can be presented to a meeting of the Cabinet, an individual Cabinet Member or a Committee. The Cabinet, Cabinet Member or Committee will consider the petition and decide whether to take the requested action. Petitions must be received at least 14 days before the meeting.
If a petition does not contain 100 signatures, it may be referred to the relevant local committee if it relates to a local issue and contains the required number of signatures for that committee.
If a submitted petition has less than 100 signatures and cannot be considered by a local committee, it will be referred to the relevant council service for response.
Petitions can also be presented to local committees. The minimum number of signatures varies between local committees, depending on their local protocol. Please check your local committee information and procedures or contact the Local Committee and Partnership Officer for your local committee.
The lead petitioner or spokesperson for the petitioners will be invited to attend the meeting. They may speak to the Cabinet, Cabinet Member or committee about the petition for up to three minutes. The petition may be referred without discussion to the next appropriate meeting for a report on what action should be taken, or a response may be made at the meeting. If the petition is referred to a future meeting, we will let you know when that meeting will be.
If you are not a petition organiser you may still attend the meeting at which the petition is discussed, but you would not be able to speak.
Two additional types of petition can be submitted:
mySociety builds websites which give people simple, tangible benefits in the civic and community aspects of their lives. It is strictly neutral on political issues, and is run by registered charity UKCOD (no. 1076346). mySociety's role was in designing and building the petitioning software to be as easy to use, as transparent and as trustworthy as possible.
Before considering whether or not to raise a petition to Surrey County Council, you may want to discuss your issue with your local county councillor (Member) who may be able to help you with it or explain how to make representations on a particular subject to the right person at the county council. Find out how to contact your local county councillor.
Find out how to create a new e-petition or sign an existing one.
If your question isn't listed above, please either fill in our feedback formor call the contact centre on 03456 009 009.